Repairs and maintenance in council and housing association homes

Your landlord is responsible for most repairs in your council or housing association home.

Conditions in your home

Your council or housing association home should have:

If your home has a gas heating system, your landlord must ensure that it is safe to use.

From 20 March 2019 landlords must make sure a property is fit to live in, but not all tenancies are covered immediately.

Landlord responsibilities

The council or housing association is responsible for most repairs in your home including:

  • gas appliances
  • heating and hot water
  • toilets, baths, pipes and sinks
  • electrical wiring and any appliances they provide
  • common areas such as lifts and communal entrances
  • the structure and exterior of the building – including the roof, walls, windows and external doors

Your tenancy agreement sets out any extra responsibilities your landlord has.

Your landlord won't have to fix damage caused by you or your guests. If they do repair something you've damaged, you can be charged for this.

If your landlord doesn’t do repairs

Contact your council or housing association landlord again if they take too long to do repairs or don't keep to an agreement about what should be repaired.

You can make a complaint if you're not happy with their response.

Damage to your home during repairs

Your landlord should fix any damage caused by their repair or maintenance work.

You can ask for a rent reduction if you can't use all or part of your home because of repair work.

If you need adaptations due to a disability

Your landlord must make reasonable adaptions to your home if needed.

You need your landlord's permission for disability-related adaptions but they can't withhold consent unreasonably.

If the work costs between £1000 and £30,000 and your landlord won't fund it, you may able to get a disabled facilities grant to pay for the work.

Tenant's responsibilities

Your responsibilities include:

  • reporting repairs
  • keeping your home and garden reasonably clean and tidy
  • fixing or paying for any damage caused by you or your guests
  • carrying out minor jobs such as replacing smoke alarm batteries and light bulbs

Your tenants' handbook or agreement might set out any other responsibilities you have.

Decorating your home

You're usually responsible for decorating your home.

Your landlord could be responsible for redecoration:

Ask your landlord to pay something towards redecoration costs if the property is in a poor state of decoration when you start your tenancy.

Furnishing your home

Your home is usually unfurnished unless you're in temporary or supported housing.

You're expected to provide your own:

  • carpets
  • furniture
  • domestic appliances

You're responsible for repairing or replacing them.

If you can't afford to repair or replace things you may be able to apply for a:

Home improvements

You need your landlord's permission to make improvements to a council or housing association home. Landlords don't usually have to carry out improvements.

Improvements could include:

  • a gas fire
  • wooden flooring
  • new bathroom or kitchen
  • an extension or conservatory

Your landlord won't usually have to repair anything which belongs to you.


Last updated 20 Mar 2019 | © Shelter

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